Monthly Archives: December 2014

Welland Snaps 2014: Six In The City

High fliers over Chippawa Park, October 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

High fliers over Chippawa Park, October 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

Cyclist on canal trail near Notre Dame College School, October 2014.

Cyclist on canal trail near Notre Dame College School, October 2014.

Canal walkway looking north from Main Street Bridge area, May 2014.

Canal walkway looking north from Main Street Bridge area, May 2014.

Chippawa Park after a light dusting of snow, November 2014.

Chippawa Park after a light dusting of snow, November 2014.

Tree reflection in Welland Recreational Waterway near downtown Welland, December 2014.

Tree reflection in Welland Recreational Waterway near downtown Welland, December 2014.

Looking south over the Welland Recreational Waterway from Division Street crossing, October 2014.

Looking south over the Welland Recreational Waterway from Division Street crossing, October 2014.

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

All too often we don’t see the forest for the trees. You’ve heard that expression before.

We live in the midst of beauty. Some time, we just don’t know it’s there.

That’s what this compilation is about. Six shots of common scenes and sites we’ve taken for granted or don’t take time from our busy schedules to enjoy.

There are many more that could be here. Six in the city is a good place to start.

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his home town of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

Welland Snaps 2014: Menagerie of Mine

Bottoms up! Fun on the Welland Recreational Waterway during a rowing regatta, July 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

Bottoms up! Fun on the Welland Recreational Waterway during a rowing regatta, July 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

Feathery floatilla in Welland Recreational Waterway, July 2014.

Feathery floatilla in Welland Recreational Waterway, July 2014.

Lone gull is undisputed King of the Castle, Chippawa Park pond, August, 2014.

Lone gull is undisputed King of the Castle, Chippawa Park pond, August, 2014.

Stop, geese crossing! Canal bank, Dain City area, August 2014.

Stop, geese crossing! Canal bank, Dain City area, August 2014.

Dinner is now served! Chippawa park fish pond, September 2014.

Dinner is now served! Chippawa park fish pond, September 2014.

Feeding frenzy, Chippawa Park fish pond, September 2014.

Feeding frenzy, Chippawa Park fish pond, September 2014.

Is it Chip or is it Dale? Merritt Island, September 2014.

Is it Chip or is it Dale? Merritt Island, September 2014.

Canal flyover, near Merritt Park, October 2014.

Canal flyover, near Merritt Park, October 2014.

Sailing off into the sunset, Merritt Island, September 2014.

Sailing off into the sunset, Merritt Island, September 2014.

Gulls in flight, International Flatwater Centre, December 2014.

Gulls in flight, International Flatwater Centre, December 2014.

Welland Snaps 2014: Bridges That Caught My Eye

Bridge work in progress, May 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

Bridge work in progress, May 2014. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

Intricate scaffolding over a portion of the tower, September 2014.

Intricate scaffolding over a portion of the tower, September 2014.

Tower covered, August 2014.

Tower covered, August 2014.

Division Street bridge as photographed from a bench in Merritt Park, June, 2014.

Division Street bridge as photographed from a bench in Merritt Park, June 2014.

Pedestrian bridge, Niagara College campus, September 2014.

Pedestrian bridge, Niagara College campus, September 2014.

Pedestrian bridge, Chippawa Park, June 2014.

Pedestrian bridge, Chippawa Park, June 2014.

East tower of the Main Street Bridge as reflected on the surface of Welland Recreational Waterway, December 2014.

East tower of the Main Street Bridge as reflected on the surface of Welland Recreational Waterway, December 2014.

Main Street Bridge after completion of work project, October 2014.

Main Street Bridge after completion of work project, October 2014.

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

There is no shortage of bridges in Welland.

And 2014 was a remarkable year for bridge photography because of the work done to the Main Street Bridge over about six months, during which it was closed.

As many other Wellanders did, I took photos of the iconic bridge at various times during the construction period. Some appear in this collection of Welland bridges that caught my eye at one time or another during the year.

There are other bridges, large and small, here in the Rose City. Some are well known, others not so much. Hope you enjoy this compilation of photos.

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

‘There Is Nothing I Can Give That You Do Not Have’

christmas card artA Christmas greeting and gift to readers of From A Reporter’s Notebook, whether they be followers or occasional visitors to this place. According to research, the words are from a Christmas card greeting from the 15th century. I believe they still hold true today:

“I salute you. There is nothing I can give that you do not have. But there is much that while I cannot give it, you can take it:

No heaven comes to us unless our hearts already find rest in heaven. Take heaven.

No peace lies in the future that is not hidden in the present moment. Take peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Beyond it within your reach is joy. Take joy.

And so at this Christmas, I greet you with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and you wake and sleep, and the shadows fall away.”

Merry Christmas,

Joe Barkovich

My View: 10 ‘Must Reads’ From Local News

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

I enjoy the newspaper. I follow local stories as best I can. Human interest and issues pieces have been at the top of my list for years and still are. There is also place for political reporting, humour, cops and crooks and more.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 stories from 2014 or ongoing stories that caught my eye for one reason or another. I’m not saying they are the biggest or best stories of the year, though in a couple of cases they could be. They’re my must reads. This is just opinion – mine:

newspaper logoThe multi-month series in The Tribune, St. Catharines Standard and Niagara Falls Review reporting on poverty in Niagara – as never before. It’s an eye-opener, a heartbreaker and a conscience tweaker all at the same time. The good news is: this well-planned project is still unfolding, with work continuing, because this multi-layered social problem is still with us and will be for a long, long time, sad to say. The writing was top notch and the stories shared by the people who live them were engrossing. All in all, and by all involved, a job superbly done.

newspaper logoThe marriage proposal story involving Tribune reporter Mary Ann Firth and boyfriend Ryan St. Denis. Everyone loves a good love story and this one is at the top of my list. Hollywood couldn’t have done it better! And who would be cast to play the parts? I’ll mull that over with my next cup of mulled wine. What a surprise it must have been in Chippawa Park when our ace reporter found out the whole story – then had a story to write and file for deadline! What a storyline, what a plot, what an ending! Best wishes to the now-engaged and soon to be wed Welland couple.

newspaper logoLet the headline tell it: The Long Goodbye of Jack and Karen. Through work, I knew Jack when he was in the local legal aid office, helping folks in need of whatever kind of assistance, though mostly legal of course; and when he was a parishioner at St. Kevin, Welland. The feature in the Tribune is one of the most compelling reads about Alzheimer’s and the sadness, pain, lessons and longing it can bring to our lives. Karen’s own piece, I Miss What We Once Had, with which the reporter Cheryl Clock’s feature closes, tugs at the heart strings, as does this unforgettable story.

newspaper logoFrom political nobody to political somebody. Alan Caslin was re-elected to regional council in the October municipal election as one of the St. Catharines councillors. He then became a kind of last-minute candidate for chair of Niagara Regional Council and ended up the winner. Wow, a coup d’etat by surprise! Congratulations, Mr. Chairman.

newspaper logoA Welland site was among two approved by Niagara Regional Council for new Provincial Offences Act Program facilities. They will replace current operations in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Welland and Fort Erie. The Welland property , purchased from District School Board of Niagara, is the former Empire School site on Duncan St. The other is in St. Catharines. It’s a good break for Welland, which could have lost existing court services now located in the downtown area near Civic Square. We need to keep all government infrastructure we have right here in Welland and not see an exodus to other places, most notably Niagara Falls and St. Catharines which seem to be, in some eyes, the centre of the regional universe. According to a press release issued by Niagara Region, construction of the new courthouses is scheduled to start in the spring of 2015 and will be self-funded through court revenues.

newspaper logoPort Colborne’s David topples a Goliath, again. This was one of the more interesting races in the October municipal election, pitting Port Colborne mayor Vance Badawey, who declined to seek re-election, against Port’s sole elected regional councillor David Barrick. But the incumbent, rookie councillor was too popular with voters and defeated his seasoned challenger. Four years prior, city councillor Barrick toppled another Port political Goliath, Bob Saracino, to claim the regional seat. More recently, he was one of three regional councillors elected by peers to the Niagara Police Services Board. Is his political star on the ascendancy? Over the next four years, Barrick is one to watch.

newspaper logoFeisty Wellanders just won’t give up the fight to save our local hospital. Like the Energizer bunny, they keep going and going, whether it be to political rallies at Queen’s Park or public meetings in the Rose City, refusing to hang up the gloves. I like reading about their spunk! Theirs is a titanic challenge to say the least and unfortunately, we are inclined to believe the ending is not a happy one for those who fight to keep hospital services in Welland. Still, they deserve credit for refusing to roll over.

newspaper logoAnother year goes by in the unsolved homicide of Wellander John Horvath. This cold case is “refreshed” by local media almost every year, and rightly so. Somewhere out there a killer lurks – unless he happened to come to his own demise in the years that have gone by. If not, maybe a slip of the tongue – his or someone else’s – will help solve this crime. The Niagara Region Police Service provides this summary on its Cold Case postings: John Horvath was found murdered in his Norway Avenue residence in Welland, in early January 1999. A rear door at the residence had been forced and he had been beaten. It is believed he had interrupted a break-in at his home. Mr. Horvath was in his mid-70s and lived alone. He was a former shop teacher, retired from E.L. Crossley Secondary School. If you have info, you can contact: Homicide Unit, 905-688-4111 ext 4200; Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477

newspaper logoWelland’s Main Street bridge was closed for several months in 2014 for some repairs and a spiffy looking paint job. This is a big story in the city regardless how many times the closing of the bridge has happened. It’s big because the bridge is iconic to some, the work causes considerable disruption to lives and businesses and it’s inevitable that someone sooner or later questions why money is being spent on an old bridge and why a new one isn’t being built to replace it. Next up: decorative lighting for our towering landmark. Will it get done in 2015?

newspaper logoThe International Flatwater Centre may be loved by out of towners who come here to compete in water sport events but locally, it just is not appreciated for what it is, and what it could become – that’s the on-going story when it comes to this sporting venue. Why all the antagonism? It played host to numerous events during 2014 and will welcome some of the Pan Am Games water events in the summer of 2015. It should be regarded as a jewel in Welland’s sports and recreation portfolio, not a punching bag. Maybe the tide will start turning in its favour in 2015.

(A former reporter and editor, Joe Barkovich lives in Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. My View is a recurring feature.)

On Thin Ice

A gathering of gulls convened on thin ice in front of the International Flatwater Centre, Welland Recreational Waterway in Welland. Hundreds of gulls were in groups there early this afternoon. Every so often, some flew off to find other resting spots on the glass-like sheet of ice. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

A gathering of gulls convened on thin ice in front of the International Flatwater Centre, Welland Recreational Waterway in Welland. Hundreds of gulls were in groups there early this afternoon. Every so often, some flew off to find other resting spots on the glass-like sheet of ice. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

IMG_2637 (2) IMG_2634 (2)

One Sleep to Christmas Eve

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

My pre-Christmas feature, Seven Sleeps to Christmas Eve, finishes tomorrow, Christmas Eve.

It’s on my site, http://perfectresignation.wordpress.com/

A daily local photo and a reflection constitute each morning’s post. You can enjoy Reflections in Word and Image after the Christmas season too.

Thanks for following Reflections in Word and Image.